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University project receives environmental award

Published: 2014/01/20

The Shetland Islands Climate and Settlement Project (SICSP) co-led by the University of Bradford was recently awarded during a ceremony hosted by the Shetland Amenity Trust.

The SICSP is a major United States National Science Foundation funded project which was supervised by University of Bradford academics Bobby Friel and Zoe Outram. The management team, directed by Professor Gerry Bigelow, from Bates College, USA, consists of archaeologists, historians and scientists from four US and four UK universities. 

The project is a multidisciplinary, international research effort exploring relationships between climate trends and human populations. The project examines the potential impacts of periods of extreme inter-annual variability in temperatures, precipitation and atmospheric turbulence, an apparent feature of significant Rapid Climate Change Events (RCCEs) on the global scale, which is directly relevant to current models of “thresholds” and “tipping points” in human societies.

Bobby Friel, Archaeological Consultant at the University of Bradford said: “This project presents a fantastic opportunity to assist the next generation in understanding and taking ownership of the heritage in their local environment.”

The SICSP is the first archaeological project to win an award, as well as the first Anglo-American team to win. The judging panel commented that the project “goes beyond the purely archaeological, using data from the past to help address current climate issues.”

David Sigsworth, Chairman of the Scottish Environment Protection Agency commended the Shetland Islands Climate and Settlement Project for the quality of the work being carried out, both in terms of improving our understanding of the impact of climate and environmental change on human populations, as well as engaging local communities with these issues.

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